Presenting the Heritage Museum of Newaygo County
Photos by Lil DeLaat
Story By Ken DeLaat
Wow. Just Wow.
The Heritage Museum Open House this Saturday will amaze those who choose to take a wander through the building that has been home to a gas station, grocery store, laundromat, and the Board of Public Works at one time or another.
The downtown Newaygo edifice is stunning in its design and structure, providing an intriguing stroll through the history of our area. From the imaginative exhibits to the enticing gift shop the Heritage Museum is an experience not to be missed. Even the color scheme reflects our area's economic history with shades of brown for agriculture, green for forestry and blue for the river rippling through the building.
Director Steven Radtke, his staff and the sea of volunteers who have given their time have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere as well as an inclusive experience that will provide a number of new initiatives to the county community.
Local artists will find room in the HM with the first exhibition featuring Stacey Kirk whose work lines the walls of the hallway. Other art pieces as well as books by local authors are available in the gift shop and the museum is open to having other local artisans selling their works in the shop.
An expanded Speakers Series, classic films, a variety of classes, and even a winter farmers market that has begun and will continue on Fridays through December are all part of the HM experience.
And because of the innovative design that allows for movement of the displays it can serve as a place for events such as their first wedding reception which will arrive in January.
On Halloween they will feature some of the classic figures such as Frankenstein, and Dracula and will explain the origin of their characters and for those with fond memories of the train that took center stage in the older version of the building, beginning this year it will return each Christmas season.
Kudos to the staff, the volunteers,the Museum Board and for certain the many generous donors, who all had a hand in making this transformation possible.
And to Director Radtke who was brought on board in 2018 and a year later began the arduous journey of grant writing, fundraising, planning and project design that has culminated in the new Heritage Museum of Newaygo County…
Well done, sir. Well done indeed.